It Builds Character

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Do you know what this means?

This means that it's really freakin' windy out today. If you're familiar with Perkins restaurants, you know that this is a gigantic flag, and it isn't set into motion easily by a slight breeze. This thing was whippin' in the wind today.

And being that it's January in Minnesota, that wind made it unbearable to be outside, even just for a minute. Check this out:

Yep, -11 degrees with a -36 windchill, or if you're a moron, -36 "windshield." But if you ask Lauren, she'll tell you that it's 16 inches below zero. (I don't know where she came up with that, but that's what she told me on the way home from daycare tonight.) And as if today's temperature is not bad enough, look at the weather we had yesterday:

Since I don't know anything about putting any type of graphics on a photo, I'll have to point out the area that says that yesterday's high was 43 degrees. Forty-three degrees in January in Minnesota is like summer weather! People were outside with no coats on, it felt downright tropical!

So, though it's not my strong suit, lets do the math here. Yesterday, 43 degrees. Today, -11 actual temperature. That's a 54 degree difference! (Right? I told you I was bad at math!) If you want to factor in the windchill, we're talking a difference of 79 degrees!!! I dare you to tell me that's not ridiculous. Now, granted, the 43 was yesterday's high, and the -11 was from about 8pm tonight, but let me assure you, it wasn't much warmer this afternoon when the sun was out. I'm pretty sure it's some kind of cruel joke, but I ain't laughin'.

Don't tell Jason, but a move to Tennessee sounds pret-ty darn good right about now.

On a more serious note, my 26 year old cousin, Becky, was just told that some of the suspicious cells that her doctor found were, indeed, cancer. She'll know more about treatments, etc. next week. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Things I did and learned this weekend

Saturday was a busy day and we did lots of running around. Catherine had a birthday party to go to and we hadn't bought her friend a present yet, so we ran to Target in the morning. Having all 3 kids with me, the trip took longer than it should have, of course. Everyone had things they wanted to look at and drool on.

When we got back from there, I did a little bit of cleaning. I had to clean out the refrigerator a little bit, because the kids and I had pizza Friday night, and the pizza box wasn't fitting in the fridge very well. There were 3 Tupperware or other kinds of plastic containers that I removed from the fridge. When I removed the lids, I actually contemplated taking pictures for your viewing pleasure, but thought better of it. I don't want anyone calling Child and Family Services on me or anything. One of the bowls had nasty moldy Hamburger Helper Cheesy Enchilada in it. Another was a bowl of flavored rice--like chicken and broccoli or something. The third bowl was leftover pot roast with potatoes and carrots. It wasn't moldy like the other stuff, but it had to go anyway. Sometimes I actually throw away old food before it grows fuzz. I'm crazy that way. Anyway, I wasn't sure about putting the roast beef down the garbage disposal, so I threw that in the garbage can. Then I slowly put the carrots and potatoes down the disposal. I didn't want to overwhelm the it. There! Done!

This morning after I gave Zelda her food, I went to give her some fresh water. I ran the water for a few seconds to get some that was really cold, and pretty soon I noticed that the drain started to fill up. I ran the disposal, thinking that it would take care of anything that might be down there. It started to come back up in the other sink. Uh oh. I stopped the dishwasher that I had started running so it wouldn't drain more water into the sink. I called Jason in to inspect the damage I had done.

It just so happens that I bought a big thing of Liquid Plumr the other day for the bathrooms. Jason read the directions and poured the proper amount into the water where the drain was. The directions clearly stated that you need to let the gel work its magic for 15 minutes before running the water again. It specified that if you were using the product on a kitchen sink, that you should follow the regular directions (of letting it sit for 15 minutes) and then run the disposal when you turn the water back on. Four minutes in, he decided to turn on the disposal. It sucked the water down one side, but it came back up the other side. Great. It didn't work, and now we'd have to use gloves for anything that we did after that, because the water was all sudsy and full of Liquid Plumr.

After the Liquid Plumr debacle, we tried plunging it. You could hear the water moving around down there, but it didn't jar the stuff loose. The only thing that happened was it threw the Liquid Plumr water all over the place and ruined the t-shirt that Jason was wearing. He was bummed, as he had just gotten it for Christmas, and it advertised one of his favorite beers, Guiness.

Then I learned how a snake works. I would estimate our snake at 20-30 feet long, and we had that sucker weaved all the way to the end, but still nothing. Well, nothing but a dirty nasty kitchen rug from the snake after we removed it from the drain.

We decided it was time to bring in the big guns. Roto Rooter. Jason and I were both thinking that it would cost us an arm and a leg since it was Sunday, but there wasn't much else we could do. I called, and the guy showed up within a couple of hours.

As he was getting his stuff set up, I asked him what the worst foods are for a garbage disposal. He didn't hesitate a second before saying, "Starches. Rice, potatoes, pasta."

Hmmm...Potatoes? Check. Rice? Check, check (the Hamburger Helper meal was mostly rice). Clogged that thing good. Turns out, he had to run his snake 40 feet down there to get to the clog. (Doesn't the word "clog" sound nasty, or is it just me?)

The price actually wasn't too bad. When I went online to look up the phone number for Roto Rooter, there was a link to a coupon for $25 off. I asked the guy how much more it was for him to come out on a Sunday as opposed to a weekday, and he said that they didn't charge a premium for that anymore! What are the chances of that?!? Overall, it ended up costing us $144. Sure it's money I could have spent on something more exciting, but it was totally worth it to have access to running water and a sink that drains again. I will never take that for granted again. Until next time.